In this post, we dive into how gaming audiences have altered the ways they engage with desktop, console, and mobile platforms during the coronavirus pandemic.

It would stand to factor that as players spend more time in the house during social distancing efforts, they have more time to engage with their preferred video games. However, how has this varied by platform? We dug into the information powering Comscore’s new weekly gaming report to examine how engagement has altered, down to the individual video game level.

Large Increases in Engagement on Desktop and Console; Mobile Reasonably Flat

Though time invested overall with mobile games has risen in the last few years, current shelter-in-place programs have highlighted an intriguing insight for the industry. PC video gaming and console video gaming have actually risen both in gamer base in addition to minutes spent, while mobile video gaming has actually remained fairly flat in engagement. This might simply be a sign of less on-the-go (mobile) activity, or it could mean that the additional time in the house gives gamers the time to engage with more lengthy or thorough games on desktop and console.

In taking a look at top video games in the PC video gaming category, average aggregate daily special visitors (UVs) increased by 14% and typical engaged duration (which is the overall time spent with the desktop game in the foreground) increased by 17% when comparing post shelter-in-place engagement metrics from March 9 – April 19, 2020 to the benchmark weeks of Jan. 27 – March 8, 2020. Console games also saw huge increase: +19% in typical homes per week engaging with top games, and +6% in typical active days, which is the number of special days a console is utilized weekly. As formerly noted, mobile was essentially flat.

” Sandbox” PC Games Revealing Significantly Greater Engagement

To understand if there were any pattern to the kind of video games for which we saw boosts, we examined our customized reporting for engagement duration amongst top PC games.

The 2 video games which revealed the biggest increases were not a surprise – “Call of Task: Modern Warfare” and “Hearthstone” both had current new game or growth releases. However, looking further down the list, some fascinating titles emerged. For example, both “Terraria” and “Minecraft” are “sandbox”- style video games, which do not have set stories or plots, but rather allow players to be innovative with an adjustable world. The data would recommend that as customers have had more time in your home (and time available to play video games), these more open-ended video games have actually ended up being a substantial outlet for gamers, and this is evidenced by the dramatic boosts in general engagement.

Other leading video games with increased engagement included perennial leading multiplayer online fight arena (MOBA) video games “Dota 2” and “League of Legends,” as well as enormously multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) “Wow,” first-person shooters “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” and “Overwatch,” and battle royale standard-bearer “Fortnite.”.

Throughout this time, Comscore will continue to keep track of how customers are adjusting to drastically changed situations. For additional info on Comscore’s new weekly audience usage reports or video gaming usage, please call us or reach out to your Comscore team.